Being an exchange student and coming from a country (Singapore) where little attention is paid and given to the developments and happenings of the theatre scene, I am delighted to have taken up this module to expose myself to this topic on drama. First and foremost, I must admit that I have never attended a single theatre performance and Blue Boy was the first in the twenty three years of my life. I was filled with excitement and anticipation both at the same time, wondering if I would even manage to interpret the idea behind the whole daunting concept of Mise en Scène. True enough, I went home that night with many questions floating in my head. The following report ...view middle of the document...
The location and the architecture of the Lir theatre did make a positive impact in my overall experience. Firstly, the theatre is closely situated to the Grand Canal Dock, providing an excellent view of the river. We can draw a parallelism with other established theatres situated at bay fronts. The Sydney Opera House in Australia for instance, faces the Sydney harbor, while the Shakespeare's Globe faces river Thames. The water features surrounding such theatres creates a unique experience, signifying abundance and life that is ever flowing in and around the theatre scene.
The exterior of the Lir theatre evokes a sense of nostalgia owing to its presence of the dark coloured brick walls. While it may appear old on the outside, it is a complete story on the inside- with modern furnishings and fittings. Therefore, the theatre seems to be both preserving the past as well as embracing the future simultaneously. I felt the nostalgic architecture was perfect for the Blue Boy as the performance was afterall, about the experiences of men and women who were incarcerated as children in Catholic residential care institutions. In a way, the aesthetics of the building was able to relay and enhance the meaning of the performance.
Mise en Scène
Theatre critic Eric Bentley defined drama simply as: “A impersonates B while C looks on”. Every play in performance shares at least one thing in common: a relationship between actor and spectator. It is with this relationship and together with the aesthetic elements of the performance that contributes to the idea of Mise en Scène as one.
Interestingly, the performance space in the Blue Boy paved way for a term called shape as described by(Blom and Chaplin). Shapes as defined by them are created when one or more bodies are either static or moving in relation to space. Straight-edged shapes and angles can create order but when moving they can be choppy, percussive, with a strong sense of direction, and “machinelike” rigidity as seen in the movements of the actors. The rigid, exaggerated movements portray exactly the sufferings and torment faced by the children during olden times. The repetitive motions of the actors also indicate the monotonous lives that the children were going through. In addition, the pixelated masks and the dull grey uniforms that the actors were wearing contributed effectively to what the intention of the director was- to invoke a sense of empathy.
The irregular rhythmical beats of the musical instruments as the play progresses can be quite confusing for me to follow, however I was still able to feel intrigued and engaged. Because irregular rhythms are unexpected, they have the capacity to help shock, disorient and amuse the audience. As the rhythm intensities towards the end, there was heightened sense of confusion. I felt that it might have been too overwhelming and was unnecessary. Afterall, the underlying message has already been portrayed.
The layout of the stage was...